An Argument for the Admissibility of Execution Impact Evidence in Pennsylvania

Paige H. Forster


In 1991, the United States Supreme Court made a significant change to sentencing proceedings during capital trials. The Court ruled in Payne v. Tennessee that the Eighth Amendment does not prohibit “victim impact evidence,” testimony about the character of the murder victim and the impact of the death on the victim’s family. The Payne decision permits highly emotional testimony from family members to enter into the penalty phase of a death penalty trial.

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This journal is published by the University Library System of the University of Pittsburgh as part of its D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program and is cosponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

ISSN 0041-9915 (print) 1942-8405 (online)